While it may not seem like it, data entry is one of the most essential tasks for businesses across all industries.
It involves updating and maintaining information, fundamentally contributing to decision-making processes, planning strategies, and business growth.
Accurate data entry matters and it is instrumental in cutting down operational costs and improving efficiency. Nevertheless, the process can be tedious and time-consuming. This is why many businesses choose to outsource data entry.
But with so many data entry outsourcing services available, how do you choose the right one? This article will examine the services available, detail some benefits you can expect, and help walk you through the factors to consider when choosing an outsourcing partner for data entry.
What Are Outsourced Data Entry Services?
Outsourcing data entry involves hiring a third-party service to handle the responsibility of updating and maintaining company information. Providers offer a wide range of services like:
- Entering information into databases, spreadsheets, or CRM systems
- Transcribing audio files to text format
- Converting documents from paper to digital documents
- Processing forms, invoices, orders, or claims (e.g., insurance claims)
Outsourcing companies employ specialized teams of data entry clerks equipped with the tools and knowledge necessary to manage and handle large amounts of data efficiently.
Mexico, Argentina, and Brazil are all top nearshore outsourcing locations for data entry services due to their vast talent pool, technological infrastructure, and comparable time zones with the US.
What Are the Benefits of Outsourcing Data Entry?
From start-ups to multinational corporations, businesses are realizing the benefits of outsourcing their data entry needs.
One of the most significant benefits of outsourcing data entry is the potential boost in productivity. Instead of burdening your team with mundane and time-consuming tasks, you can reallocate their talents and skills to more strategic, revenue-generating activities.
This means higher efficiency and productivity since your staff can concentrate on other important business functions.
Outsourcing data entry can be a cost-effective choice. You save on overhead costs associated with hiring and maintaining an in-house team, such as:
- Office space
Moreover, you only need to pay for the services you use with the flexibility to scale up or down depending on your needs.
Access to the latest technology
Data entry outsourcing companies use the latest technology and software to offer quality services. Access to this technology ensures accuracy and means your business can benefit without direct investment.
No training required
When you outsource, you don’t need to spend time or resources training your team on data entry tasks. The data entry service provider is responsible for training their employees and ensuring they are up-to-date with the latest data entry practices and technologies.
Data entry needs are often fluid, and outsourcing allows your business to easily manage peak periods without overworking your current staff or hiring additional temporary employees. Also, your outsourcing provider can assign workers with specialized skills as necessary if new projects arise.
Faster delivery times
Outsourcing companies often have the capacity to deliver faster turnaround times than you could processing data in-house. Plus, if you work with a data entry provider in a different time zone, they may be working past your normal business hours and returning completed work before the start of your next business day. This way, your data is ready and available when you need it.
What Are the Factors to Consider Before Outsourcing Your Data Entry?
Every business has data entry projects and tasks, but their needs and requirements vary. Here are a few things to consider before choosing an outsourcing partner:
1. Type of data
Clearly outline the data entry tasks you wish to outsource. It could be database upkeep, conversion tasks, transcription work, invoice data entry, etc. Having a clear list of tasks allows you to effectively communicate your needs to potential data entry service providers, who can create a plan catering to your specific requirements.
2. Volume of data
Examine the extent and complexity of the data your business handles. Assess how much data you generate daily, weekly, or monthly. This will aid in determining the size and scale of data entry services you need.
The complexity of your data will indicate if you need an outsourcing provider with specific expertise and also impact the cost and time required for data entry.
3. Turnaround time
Consider the turnaround time you expect for the completion of data entry tasks. Do you need a quick return, or is your schedule more flexible? If your business operates across different time zones, start thinking about how to structure an agreement so it works for all employees.
4. Outsourcing costs
Determine how much you’re willing to spend on outsourcing data entry tasks. Remember to consider the long-term benefits and the operational cost savings that outsourcing can bring in addition to the direct costs. Your budget will guide you in choosing a provider that offers the best value for your money.
How To Choose the Right Data Entry Outsourcing Company
Once you’ve looked internally and determined your business needs, the next step is to turn your attention to potential outsourcing partners. You have to go beyond surface-level impressions and search for a company that can meet your specific requirements.
Remember that there are several different models of outsourcing, and you may not need the help of a company at all. Contracting with a data entry professional or virtual assistant with data entry skills can be a simple, affordable data entry solution. And if you hire from a region with lower costs of living—for example, Latin America—you can secure the services of a data entry expert or VA at a lower rate than hiring within the US.
Here are some key factors to consider when looking for a data entry outsourcing company or professional:
Services offered by potential outsourcing partners can greatly vary. It’s critical to find a provider that caters to your specific data entry needs.
For instance, if your company requires bulk data entry, ensure the provider has an experienced workforce and resources. If you require transcription services in a certain language, ensure their team has linguistic capabilities. If you need advanced data processing, ensure they have the expertise needed.
Some providers even offer automation and AI-based solutions for data entry. A comprehensive partner who offers all these services in their portfolio is an excellent choice, as they can cater to your current and potential future needs.
Potential threats to data security are a growing concern in the digital age. So it’s crucial to partner with a company that prioritizes data security measures.
For example, what are their security protocols? Do they carry out regular security audits? Do they have firewalls and encryption techniques to secure your data? Have they ever experienced a security breach, and if so, how was it handled?
Assess their adherence to international or regional data security standards like ISO 27001 and GDPR. A thorough understanding of these factors can assure you of the data entry company’s commitment to data security.
A good partner will be willing to align their services to your specific needs. For instance, if your business needs a surge in data entry tasks during certain periods, can they scale up their teams to deliver high-volume data entry?
If you require your data to be organized and stored in a specific manner, are they flexible enough to modify their data entry processes? The ability to adapt their services to perfectly fit your business is a sign of a competent outsourcing partner.
While outsourcing is a cost-cutting measure, it doesn’t mean you should compromise quality. Determine if the provider’s proposed cost reflects the quality of their services.
Watch for hidden charges that may add up as the project proceeds. For example, does the cost include revisions or other alterations along the way? Is there a cost for customer support? Being conscious of these factors will help you assess the true cost-effectiveness of their service.
Communication and collaboration
Frequent, effective communication with your outsourcing partner is crucial for the success of your partnership.
Consider what channels the company uses. Are they available across various platforms like email, video conferencing, or instant messaging? Can they provide updates in a format that suits your business, such as daily emails or weekly reports?
An ideal partner will have a professionally trained team available to collaborate with you regularly, discuss progress, and incorporate feedback.
Choosing the right outsourcing partner for your data entry needs is a critical decision that requires careful consideration of several factors. From assessing your business needs to examining the data security of potential partners, it’s important to conduct thorough due diligence.
With so many potential options, searching for the perfect data entry partner can be daunting. That’s where we can help.
Hiring experienced data entry professionals is a worthwhile alternative to sorting through dozens of outsourcing companies. These professionals can provide quality services that not only ease your workload but ensure better outcomes as they will work as an extension of your team, which will give you more oversight of their work. Contracting with data entry professionals or VAs can be a flexible, cost-effective way to outsource your data entry needs.
We can find you the top data entry candidates from Latin America so you can work with highly skilled professionals for 30–70% less than their US-based peers.
Ready to find your ideal data entry partner? Fill out a simple form to get a list of handpicked candidates you can interview for free.